When Jadeja first started his international career he was seen as a bit of a makeshift allrounder. He was a useful part time spinner, a pinch hitter. He was labelled as nothing more than a handy T20 player. Over the past year and a half this has all changed. He is now a vital cog in the Indian side, even displacing Ashwin in the last two tests that India have played.
Not only is his spin bowling impressive, he is one of the best fielders in the side aswell as developing his batting to more than just pinch hitting. When thinking of similar players to Jadeja over the last decade one name springs to mind. This being Dilshan of Sri Lanka, he started out as a part time bowler and lower order pinch hitter just like Jadeja.
The fielding similarities are there also, Dilshan like Jadeja could field anywhere even wicket keeping. I haven’t seen the young Indian keep wicket yet but am sure he could do a steady job if called upon. One thing that happened for Dilshan was that he was moved up to open the batting.
I feel that Jadeja is very capable of this role, in fact I feel that this move would favour the balance of the Indian test side. In my opinion India are lacking one more bowling allrounder. In the first test against New Zealand the bowling attack was made up of Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja. I feel that against the bigger sides outside of India they need five bowlers and not four.
The batting line up currently is perfect for India, they have a good opening partnership, a great number three and four and good lower order batsmen. In my opinion they need to find a place for either Ashwin or Bhuvneshwar in test cricket, to supplement the four already there.
The options are to drop Rahane and move Jadeja up to opener, let the very apt Ahwin or equally good batsman Bhuvneshwar develop into the bowling allrounder. The other option would be to drop Murali Vijay and push either Rahane or Jadeja up the order.
I would favour the second option. It would be unfortunate for Murali Vijay who has done nothing wrong but sometimes big decisions need to be made. Both Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar are capable number seven batsmen. They would also give the side great balance between the batting and bowling. Having five bowlers will benefit India especially in England in the summer.